Marketing: 25 Steps to “Yes” Without Sounding Like Ginsu Infomercial

What My Inbox Says About Today’s Marketing

Every day my email account is choking with a new marketing thingy, which typically tries to sell me on:Marketing Without Soundling Like Ginsu Infomercial

  • a revealed secret,
  • a new code or a new technique
  • an incredible, or once in a lifetime offer,
  • software and tools I can’t live without,
  • Panda destroyers or Google hacks,
  • hordes of ninjas,
  • last minute countdowns

…and the email trail goes on and on and on.

The headlines of these email raise old images of those absurd Ginsu knife infomercials of the 80’s.

It’s a knife, a meat tenderizer, a tree trimmer and it can cut nails or hammers in two.   And if you hurry, you receive the complete 25 knife set that turns into a helicopter.  Only 19.99! 

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners confuse this circus of hacks and tricks with how marketing is done today.

Some might even argue that Ginsu infomercials of old were successful.

My counter is:  Who among us – as business owners – wants to sound like a Ginsu infomercial when marketing their business?

Do YOU want to be today’s Ginsu guy or gal?

I don’t.

Besides, marketing isn’t a secret, a hack or a bunch of ninja tricks.  The essence of marketing is three simple steps.

1.  Know your audience

2.  Offer what they want

3.  Get them to say “Yes”

The most difficult of these steps is getting them to “Yes”.  This is the on-going challenge.  Everything else is pixy dust, ninja smoke and not worth your time.

25 Steps to “Yes”

Here are 25 proven steps to get your audience to “Yes”. They’re simple and straightforward. All that is required is your serious thought followed by action.

1.  Get inside their heads. 

If you don’t know what matters to your audience, your ability to get them to “yes” is zero.

2.  Alter your mindset.

Stop “selling” and start “serving”.  You’ll get farther.

3.  Use lasers.

It is not about the masses with massive discounts and deals too good to be true.  It is about touching the “right” people who want what you have to offer in a personal and meaningful way.

4.  Select the “right” words. 

Words motivate, stimulate, entice or they dampen, bore, and put off.  Which words are you using?

5.  Speak to their “wants” – not their needs.

“Wants” are what people WANT to satisfy.  Needs are what they HAVE to do.  Which are you addressing?

6.  Fish where fish swim.

Be present where they are most likely to be – online and off.

7.  Think marathon, not dash.

Be repetitive, be consistent, and be ever present in your on-going marketing efforts.

8.  Don’t be a one-trick pony. 

People gather information from a variety of sources.  Use multiple venues to reach them – including old school offline techniques if needed.

9.  Give to get to get to “Yes”.

Your audience has the right to sample, test, and taste what you have to offer.  Give them the ability to do just that and make it easy.

10.  Show yourself.

Don’t hide behind your website or desk.  Rub elbows, share, one on one and reveal yourself to your audience.

11.  Drop the happy mask.

Everything isn’t all right, always.  Share your honest emotions.  It shows you are human and like them.

12.  Explain why “Yes” is the answer. 

It really is NOT obvious.  Take the time to walk through their decision-making process with them.

13.  Head off resistance.

Answer their questions and concerns before they ask.

14.  Be versatile.

Some are auditory, some visual.  Some are serious, some lighthearted. Use different techniques to tell your story.

15.  Give them proof. 

People need to know you can deliver.  Demonstrate your abilities through testimonials, social proof, case studies, research, ROI, articles, and any other form of proof you may have.

16.  Remove the risk.

Offer guarantees, trials, or buy backs.

17.  Present options.

One size does not FIT all, at least not well.  So give your audience options of your offerings.

18.  Ask.

Use calls-to-action to prompt people to take a step forward.

19.  Test to find what works. 

And ignore the rest.

20.  Nurture. 

Some need to grow into “Yes”.  Keep in touch and give them your good guidance.

21.  Plug the want you fill.

Promote your offerings through press releases, advertising, how to and why not articles in local and social media, blogs, magazines and other communications vehicles that reach your audience.

22.  Breed some buzz.

Get off the beaten path and try contests, promotions, challenges that speak to your audience and create some buzz.

23.  Turn customers into advocates

Ask, give incentives, encourage current customers to refer and share you with others.

24.  Get a buddy.

Join forces with others who are seeking the same audience and leverage your combined efforts.

25.  Care.


For me, these steps represent today’s marketing and not the Ginsu way.

Which approach do you prefer?

Are you selling your products the Ginsu way or are you marketing?  Let me know your thoughts below.

Oh, and if you know of business owners who sound like a Ginsu infomercial and think they could benefit from this list, pass it along.  You should also pass it along to any business owners who are struggling with their marketing.  It may lead them to some new insights.

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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